Every organisation is adept at safeguarding their classified information inside their firewalls, but PDF documents or data files containing sensitive information do not just remain within the corporate firewall, but rather are distributed or shared to a number of parties outside the organisation. For a business to run effectively, documents must be disseminated and shared to third parties, thus moving out of the organisational network and far beyond borders and conventional document security infrastructures.
A huge challenge arises when management has to assume control over the safety of documents based on corporate confidentiality policies – that the documents remain safe outside the corporate firewall for employees to effectively do their jobs without having to worry about leakage of data. At the end of the day, the objective is to concentrate on PDF documents and collaborative work surrounding it while ensuring that the data in the document remains unavailable to those that have not been authorized to use it.
Some of the common practices of sharing data files include:
- Use of postal mail and overnight services distributing documents to authorized recipients.
- Use of email via attachments.
- Use of specific and personalised portals behind firewalls for document sharing and accessing internal information.
- Use of company blogs, websites, wikis outside the firewall to distribute data.
- Use of social media.
- Use of low-cost or no-cost cloud document sharing applications.
Other than the cloud document sharing option of sharing information, none of the approaches are useful in facilitating collaboration. These days, there are a number of collaborative projects such as drawing up contracts, negotiations, joint product development, collaborative marketing and many other areas where there is a need for secure and serious collaboration between more than just one set of people within an organisation. And often these people are located at different premises. Hence the organisational challenge of sharing PDF documents securely becomes immense.
There are a myriad of procedural challenges that need to be complied with before one can assume the technical challenges of sharing PDF documents securely, such as managing password keys, encryption, numerous access controls, authentication and more. A huge hurdle is the constant struggle between efficiency, ease of use, and document security. As more and more organisations opt for virtual external resources to enhance efficacy, the need for security also rises along with it. Conventional form of IT security has been seen to reduce productivity and cut down efficiency due to its imposing policies.
Enterprise document security solutions are usually only created for internal company document security and rely on existing directory structures (like Microsoft Directory) and access controls. Enterprise PDF DRM solutions however cater for both internal and external document security and provide a wide variety of document safety options such as watermarking, distribution management, copy protection, licensing, expiry and revocation, and many other features that can safeguard the information in PDF documents. By protecting classified data, Enterprise PDF DRM solutions can manage and enforce access and usage rights to the data in the document throughout its life-cycle, irrespective of where and how the document is distributed. These solutions play a vital role in battling against content fraud, particularly when document theft is due to an insider threat.
Document security works both inside and outside the enterprise can be a huge boon to management and IT departments. Enterprise PDF DRM such as LockLizard can ensure that PDF documents are protected at all times no matter where they reside and are only accessible to intended recipients.